Single Generation X women are earning more than their male counterparts in 15 cities


In 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor discovered that women working full-time in the United States earned approximately 83.7% of what men earned in the same positions. However, a recent study conducted by LendingTree revealed some interesting findings about pay equality between single men and women in different generations and metropolitan areas.

LendingTree examined the average earnings of single individuals in the top 100 metro areas in the United States, categorizing the findings by three generations: baby boomers, Generation X, and millennials. The study highlighted that single women from Generation X (aged 41 to 56 in 2021) surpassed their male counterparts in terms of earnings in 15 metro areas, the highest number on the list.

By focusing on the top metro areas where single Generation X women out-earned their male counterparts, we can observe significant differences. For example, in Portland, Maine, the average single Gen X woman earns $40,233, while her male counterpart earns $27,874, resulting in an earnings difference of $12,359. Similarly, in Palm Bay, Florida, single Gen X women earn $44,056 compared to $33,287 for men, indicating an earnings difference of $10,769. In Oxnard, California, the average single Gen X woman earns $55,420, while her male counterpart earns $46,206, resulting in an earnings difference of $9,214.

Comparing the earnings of single women across generations, the LendingTree study reveals that Generation X women out-earn their male counterparts in 15 metros, followed by boomer women in 12 metros and millennial women in 6 metros. This can be attributed to Generation X being in their peak earning years, while millennials are still advancing in their careers and boomers have passed their peak earning years.

Despite these positive developments, it is crucial to acknowledge that the overall pay equity gap remains significant. In fact, when considering all generations collectively, single women out-earned single men in only 1 out of the 100 metro areas included in the study. On average, single men earn $8,717 more than single women across these metro areas.

To conduct this study, LendingTree analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2021 American Community Survey microdata, specifically using the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS). The analysis focused on single individuals aged 22 or older who had never been married or were widowed, divorced, or separated. The findings shed light on the complex issue of pay equality and highlight the progress that still needs to be made.  

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